Christian Louboutin – Great minds of our time

Monday, 1 August, 2016

I was introduced to the luxury footwear designer Christian Louboutin (1964 – ) thanks to my late French friend Laurent as he happened to know Christian as a family friend. Here are a few videos I am watching today. And I’m thrilled to include Louboutin to my Great Minds of Our Time series.

An Audience with Christian Louboutin: Full-length video | NET-A-PORTER.COM (published Nov 25, 2011)

Christian Louboutin Addresses FIT Graduates (published May 23, 2014)

Christian Louboutin Interview | NET-A-PORTER.COM (published Nov 13, 2009)


I wrote and shared this entry in memory of Laurent Jean Philippe Ravalec, my late and awesomely unique French friend, where one of our last video chats (which I documented here) happened in November 2015 just a day after the horrible Paris attack.

Talking to my French friend Laurent about Food (published April 7, 2012) is another video of us chatting about our common love: food!

Laurent, I miss you my friend!

The first door on the left changed her life

Wednesday, 11 August, 2010

Words by Radiolab” is one of the best radio shows I’ve heard in a long time. Highly recommended.

“It’s almost impossible to imagine a world without words. But in this hour of Radiolab, we try to do just that. We speak to a woman who taught a 27-year-old man the first words of his life, and we hear a firsthand account of what it feels like to have the language center of your brain wiped out by a stroke. Plus: a group of children invent an entirely new language in Nicaragua in the 1970s.”

A bonus video. Beautifully done.


No LUV for Southwest Airlines: How to crash a brand in less than 100 hours in a perfect social media storm – A business case study (draft / beta)

Wednesday, 17 February, 2010

Please note that this article serves as a placeholder for an ongoing business case study of the Southwest Airlines social media storm. Information contained here will be under constant update and revision.


Business case background:

Southwest Airlines was a respected brand only a few short days ago. So what had happened to the brand in less than 100 hours that caused people to say out loud that they will NEVER fly with Southwest again? Thus no LUV for Southwest Airlines.

The purpose of this business case is to look deeper into the causes leading to Southwest crashing its brand in a perfect social media storm. And how other businesses can learn from Southwest‘s mistakes.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4 - N922WN, Sports Illustrated One (Swimsuit 2009 Bar Refaeli) at HOU by E-Mans

photo credit: av8pix @ Flickr


Dis-Revenue per Employee, Revenue per Employee, Southwest Airlines, Twitter, Social Media, Social Network

Raw research materials:

1) NOT SO SILENT BOB by Christi Day – Southwest Airlines, Emerging Media Specialist

2) MY CONVERSATION WITH KEVIN SMITH by Linda Rutherford – Southwest Airlines, VP Communications & Strategic Outreach

3) Smodcast #106: “Go Fuck Yourself, Southwest Airlines – In which, surely, our hero is Too Fat To Fly. And don’t call me Shirley.

4) Smodcast #107: “Thinicism – In Natali [the lady Kevin Smith talked about in #106] tells her story.

5) I’ve linked to some materials here in the blog entry “Southwest Airlines – From a loved brand to a damaged brand – Kevin Smith & Linda Rutherford”.

6) More to be added.

Principal researcher:

Kempton Lam  B.Sc., MBA

Background of Principal Researcher:

Kempton received his undergrad degree in Computer Science (with high distinction) from University of Toronto and is well versed in social media technologies from his years of blogging experiences. His MBA degree from University of Calgary has also prepared him to deliver comprehensive insightful study/report on time and within budget. During Kempton’s undergraduate and graduate studies, he has received multiple scholarships and awards for his academic excellence.

A Business Case Study (draft / beta)

It will take some time to complete the full report so please be patient.

What Kempton plans to do is to update this report in different draft versions. And keeping it as a “draft/beta” version until it is completed.

Concluding note for now

This report will study some serious issues and topics even though the trigger of Southwest‘s troubles may seem “trivial” to some people. But let me assure you, the business implication is deep and significant.

Just so you know I can laugh at myself and the absurdity in whole mess for Southwest. Here is one of my favourite ad, it serves to remind me to be humble and always be ready to do what is needed and right (and to learn).

Is Alice Schroeder, biographer of Warren Buffett, bitter?

Sunday, 24 January, 2010

Alice Schroeder, biographer of Warren Buffett (see my “Snowball” best of/review post), has a wonderfully written piece “Am I Bitter …?“.

In life, I often try to learn the best ideas and practices from people I admire. At the same time, may be paying less focus on their shortcomings. Not because the shortcomings are less important but because other people may have similar failings and I might have learned NOT to make these mistakes already.

So this post is not about me deciding if Alice or Warren is “right”. I love both Alice and Warren for who they are (their insights and their failings) and not for who I want them to become. I guess what I want to say Alice has, taking her words for what they are, really shown her “genuine attempt to bring perspective and balance to the discussion [of Warren‘s investment decisions].”

As I get to know Alice more from “Snowball”, her Facebook fan page and her blog, I’ve grown to treasure her investment insights, admire her sense of humour and her determination to report things as she sees them. Deep insights and reporting in a fair and accurate manner are the qualities I seek when I read a reporter’s/author’s works, and are what I strive to achieve when I write my own reports in my blogs and in my examiner business and entertainment stories.

I had praised Warren in telling Alice before she started the biography project, “Whenever my version is different from somebody else’s, Alice, use the less flattering version.

I now believe Warren had made a mistake.

If I were an important and rich man worthy of a biography, this is what I would have told Alice before I share years of my life with her and let her write my biography,

“Whenever my version is different from somebody else’s, Alice, use the MOST flattering version. Make up lies if you need to. Pay people to say good things about me. And you have to promise to Photoshop my photos.”

Seriously, I love both Alice and Warren. If I love Alice more, David (Alice’s lovely husband) will probably be kicking my ass. And if I love Warren more, I will probably be richer than I am because I will be spending a lot (and I mean a LOT) more time reading annual (and quarterly) reports of companies I may want to invest in.

Warren remains a great member of my self-created list of “great minds of our time“, regardless of the unfortunate turn of events between him and Alice.

P.S. Heck, an economist, one I deeply admire and has learned a lot via his books, is currently stuck in China because he has an outstanding US arrest warrant against him.

In life, I like to focus on the positive things I can learn from. But then it doesn’t mean that I will forget about the negative things and don’t try to also learn from them (mainly to avoid these mistakes in my own life).

P.P.S. I left this in Alice’s post and thought it may be nice to include it here.

I know it is almost impossible for you and Warren to be closer again (I avoid using the word “friend”). Hell will probably freeze over first. But then, I am an eternal optimist.

You see, Hell was frozen when Apple first worked with Microsoft.

And hell was recently refrozen again when Apple decided to use Microsoft’s useless-piece-of-junk Bing as a default search engine on iPhone. So evidences suggest Hell often freeze at unexpected time and more often then scientists had previously estimated. Good luck to you and Warren.

Aftermath of food tampering at Calgary Co-op Oakridge Centre store (with customers video interviews)

Tuesday, 19 January, 2010

Calgary Co-op Oakridge Centre storeCalgary Co-op Oakridge Centre store (bakery area)

CBC reports “More pins found in Co-op grocery products” (emphasis added),

A Calgary grocery store has discovered more pins in its products, this time pushed into plastic juice bottles.

The Calgary Co-op store at Oakridge Centre in the city’s southwest was closed for several hours Monday after pins were found in some bakery items. A sweep of the store by employees turned up more pins in bulk food items and in cheese.

On Tuesday morning, employees uncovered more of the pins.

“Before our centre opened this morning at Oakridge we did another sweep and we did find a couple of more products that have the metal objects in them. Those included some of our fresh juices in our produce department,” said spokeswoman Sarah Boutron.

She doesn’t know if the pins, which she describes as the kind used in sewing, were missed during Monday’s sweep or are new.

Although there are no official words from Calgary Co-op whether business at the Oakridge store is impacted, customers at the Calgary store all seem very understanding. To immediately alert the press and the public, Calgary Co-op appears to have done the right thing for the customers and for itself in the long run.

Here are comments from customers at the Oakridge Calgary Co-op (see attached video),

“No [our purchase decisions won’t be impacted]. It [food tampering] happened in the States too.”

“I rarely buy bulk [bread] anyway. […] If I did, I will probably check it out really well first. Cut it open.”

“I buy grocery here for over 30 years and I never had any problem. […] Yes [I will still come here and buy things].”

“Honestly, I couldn’t really care less. I am sure whatever in there, they taken care of it. […] Yes [I will still shop here].”

“Well, it can happen anywhere, so what can we do? […] I think they’ve checked it throughly. I don’t think they will be allowing customers in if there are more danger to be worried about.”

Note: repeated calls and voices mails left for Calgary Co-op press contacts have not been returned at press time.

Whose father was he?

Friday, 3 April, 2009

Oscar winning documentary directory Errol Morris masterfully investigated and written essay “Whose father was he?”

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.



奧斯卡得獎紀錄片導演Errol Morris出神入化的寫“他是誰的父親?” 。

一部分。第二部分。第三部分Part 4, Part 5.

Olympic gossip: Guo Jingjing (郭晶晶) getting married to Kenneth Fok Kai-kong (霍啓剛) soon?

Sunday, 17 August, 2008
Guo Jingjings gold medal awarded by Timothy Fok

Guo Jingjing's gold medal awarded by Timothy Fok - Photo: Apple Daily

OK, I enjoy gossip once in a while. (big smile) This post is pure gossip mixed in with some truth. Enjoy.

There are reports that China’s sweetheart Guo Jingjing (郭晶晶) is going to retire after the Beijing Olympics and will be getting married soon. The Hong Kong Apple Daily has reported that Timothy Fok (霍震霆), HK businessman, member of IOC, and father of Kenneth Fok Kai-kong (霍啓剛) (reported boyfriend of Jingjing, had specially arranged with the IOC for him to give Jingjing her final Beijing Olympic Diving gold medal. That is sweet. :)

Read more about are the marriage gossips in Chinese here, here, and about the relationship between Kenneth and Jingjing in English here.

P.S. Dear readers, if I ever let myself become too much like TMZ, please kindly let me know before it is too late.

P.P.S. If you attended any of the Guo Jingjing (郭晶晶) diving events and have some photos (taken by you) to share, please post them on Flickr and post a link to it in the comment area. Thanks.


Aug 17th 16:55 Update: According to Apple Daily, Jingjing is not quite ready to retire yet. So the news of Jingjing retiring immediately and getting married with Kenneth right away is simply rumour designed to sell more newspaper or get more readers to read blog entries by shameless reporters (yours truly included). Nothing more. :)

Here is an excerpt from the Apple Daily article,

郭 晶 晶 獲 頒 金 牌 後 表 示 , 獲 取 金 牌 是 她 生 命 中 非 常 值 得 紀 念 的 時 刻 。 當 有 記 者 問 她 從 「 未 來 老 爺 」 霍 震 霆 手 上 取 得 金 牌 是 否 非 常 高 興 時 , 郭 面 帶 尬 尷 之 色 地 說 : 「 很 高 興 , 取 得 金 牌 都 很 高 興 。 」[…]

她 又 說 , 為 迎 接 北 京 奧 運 , 她 已 苦 練 四 年 , 但 她 非 常 享 受 訓 練 過 程 , 更 強 調 很 喜 歡 跳 水 , 「 若 果 可 以 , 我 希 望 可 以 繼 續 跳 水 落 去 。 」 這 粉 碎 外 界 指 北 京 奧 運 是 她 退 役 前 最 後 一 次 比 賽 , 之 後 立 即 嫁 入 霍 家 的 傳 言 。

Aug 17th 23:58 Update: Here is a mention of the award ceremony in The Standard. Now, I have no clue why did The Standard pick this photo, out of thousands of much better photos, to use in this article? You see, Jing Jing had a really funny looking face in this picture. (smile)

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